Braves: Updated Free Agent Wish List: Starting Pitchers

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This will wrap up this series of updated free agent wish lists for the Braves. We’ve already covered outfield options, the bullpen, and first base, so if you missed any of those pieces, click the links below.

The market for starting pitchers has been insane early this offseason, which doesn’t leave too many options remaining. However, there are still a few marquee names available, as well as some other players that could be candidates for one-year contracts.

Clayton Kershaw

Given all the action that happened before the lockout amongst free agent starting pitchers, it’s surprising that Kershaw’s name was rarely brought up in rumors. Perhaps that’s because he was always a player that preferred to wait until after the lockout to make his decision, but now, he’s arguably the best free agent pitcher remaining. I’m not exactly sure what kind of contract Kershaw will fetch. It will undoubtedly be for more than one year, but will a team be willing to offer him something much longer, like four or five years? I know the Braves are unlikely to do so, but if his market stays relatively cool, he would be a helluva addition to the rotation.

Danny Duffy

Duffy shouldn’t require much more than a one or two-year deal, and he was fantastic for the Royals before he was traded to the Dodgers and ultimately shut down for the season. With Kansas City, he posted a 2.51 ERA and the highest K/9 of his career over 61.0 innings. He’s not a frontline starter, but he would be a high-quality option to put behind Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Ian Anderson.

Matthew Boyd

Boyd was recently non-tendered by the Tigers and will surely be picked up by another MLB squad. However, he won’t be ready to pitch until at least a few months into the season because of injury. That’s not ideal, but it also means he can probably be had on a small one-year deal, which could work out well for the Braves.

Zack Greinke

Over the last two seasons, the once unhittable Zack Greinke has looked human, but he still was more than serviceable and is just a couple of years removed from three straight All-Star appearances. At 38-years-old, I don’t imagine he will fetch more than a one or two-year deal, and he could be interested in joining a team like the Braves that will be competing for championships.

Michael Pineda

Pineda’s lost some serious heat on his fastball over the years, but he still put together some solid numbers with the Twins when healthy, posting a 3.80 ERA combined ERA over the last three seasons (280 innings). On a one or two-year deal, he could be a solid pickup for the Braves.

Johnny Cueto

Injuries really derailed Cueto’s career with the Giants, but he was decent over 21 starts last season, recording a 7-7 record with a 4.08 ERA. Set to become 36-years-old next year, he could be a one-year contract candidate for Alex Anthopoulos.

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